Treatments of 0, 10, 20, 30, or 40% (v/v) refined (salad) or crude soybean oil or 0, 5, 10, 15, or 20% petroleum (dormant) oil at 0, 5, 10, 15, or 20% were sprayed until drip on `Smoothee' apple trees on 27 February 1991. The internal carbon dioxide concentration was elevated and the oxygen content reduced within one day in buds-twigs treated with oil and remained influenced for up to 12 days. All oil treatments delayed fruit bud development. The lowest tested concentration of soybean oil (either crude or refined) resulted in the greatest delay in bud development and the greatest delay in bloom (approximately 4 days). Crude soybean oil treatment resulted in less damage to flower buds than petroleum oil.